10 Ways to be a Bad Boss

If you are being perceived as a “bad boss” the chances are that you are not well liked by your staff and perhaps need to make some changes to change the perception.

Being labelled and “bad boss”, already elicits an “away” response and must make managing subordinates and staff a very difficult task.

Let’s look at the 10 top behaviours that could make you earn the label of “bad boss”:

  1. You shout at staff and humiliate them in front of others. Adults do not like to be shouted at definitely not in front of others. Their response to such behavior would either probably be withdrawal or where they detach or disengage or show passive aggressive behaviour in response. This does not do well for performance and productivity.

  2. You adopt a dictatorial approach of “my way or the high way”. Subordinates will submit for a while but then at some point will start to rebel and you may find yourself losing valuable staff or a rebellion of staff refusing to work.

  3. You put unrealistic demands on staff which sets them up for failure. Maybe you can reach such high standards, but are your staff able to reach the same level?

  4. You display secretive behavior and refuse to have open, transparent communication on work related issues. This makes people suspicious of your agenda and does not enthuse them to follow you.

  5. You discipline them for not following company rules and then proceed to break the rules with no consequence. This double standard engenders resentment and frustration.

  6. You show no empathy for personal circumstances and consistently ignore other parts of the human being working for you. Employees are human beings and will not be happy to be treated as a mechanical production line.

  7. You do not give credit for work well done but “steal” the work to get yourself credit. Adults need acknowledgement if you want them to do more work for you.

  8. You consistently pick on what they did wrong and never acknowledge what they did right. Adults needs at least 5 things they do well before they can listen to what they can improve in.

  9. Having a pass/fail approach rather than a mentoring and development approach to the human beings working under you. Adults grow at the boundary of support and challenge. If there is too much challenge or support they cannot grow. Finding that sweet spot between the two will allow you to develop a positive relationship with subordinates and ensure better performance and productivity.

  10. You choose to work from fear perspective. Fear shuts people down cognitively and renders them less likely to perform well. People need to feel emotionally “safe” before they can achieve.

Think about whether you choose to be a boss who rules from fear or a leader who enthuses people and leads by example. Having subordinates who look up to you means you need to lead by example. They will only follow you if you can walk the walk and talk the talk.  Leadership of others, begins with leadership of the self.

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